Thursday, March 4, 2010

Alliance Française schedule

At Alliance Française on Fridays at 8 pm


The Alliance Française shows its series of French films in a small room in their building at 138 Charoen Prathet Road. The building is directly opposite Wat Chaimongkhon, near the Chedi Hotel. Tell your taxi "Samakhom Frangset" and/or "Wat Chaimongkhon."A contribution of 30 baht is requested; you pay outside at the information desk of the Alliance Française proper.


At Alliance Française on Friday, March 5, 8 pm:  Prénom Carmen / First Name: Carmen (1983) by Jean-Luc Godard – 85 mins France, Drama/ Crime. English subtitles. Generally favorable reviews: 77 out of 100.


With Maruschka Detmers, Jacques Bonnaffé, Jean-Pierre Mocky, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Villeret.


Her name is Carmen. She borrows her uncle’s flat to shoot a film with friends. But at the same time, she is in a terrorist group. After a bank hold up, she runs away with a young policeman in love with her and tells him the film is a pretext to kidnap a powerful businessman…

– Alliance description


Louis Schwartz, All Movie Guide: First Name: Carmen tells the parallel stories of a quartet rehearsing Beethoven and a group of young people robbing a bank, supposedly to get the funds to make a film. Director Jean-Luc Godard attempts to make a film that resembles a string quartet, each of whose parts serves an abstract whole. The film is a meditation on the difficulties of youth in the 1980s, the relations between cinema and capital, and how to film the human body. Godard fills the film with carefully composed shots of bodies playing music, making love, and acting violently. His attention to bodies in First Name: Carmen makes the film's images very close to sculptures, particularly those of Rodin. The film's engagement with painting and sculpture continues Godard's ongoing investigation of the relationships between cinema and other arts.


At Alliance Française on Friday, March 12, 8 pm:  Le sauvage / Call Me Savage / Lovers Like Us / The Savage (1975)by Jean-Paul Rappenau – 105 mins France/ Italy, Comedy/ Drama/ Romance. English subtitles. 


With Yves Montand, Catherine Deneuve, Luigi Vannuchi, Tony Roberts, Dana Winter.


Screams, gunshots, escapes, car chases, punches and pain, laughs and tears. The French Connection? No! A love story between one woman, several men and a enchanting island. Martin left Nelly for that island. He is “Le Sauvage”, a proud man in his forties, in peace in his loneliness. But everything is going to change...

– Alliance description


Time Out Film Guide: A commonplace toujours l'amour tragi-farce whose only justification lies in the decorative presence of its two stars. The urbane Montand as a self-sufficient sauvage on the run from the unacceptable face of his wife's cosmetic empire, growing vegetables on an island retreat, is a strain on the imagination. But for credibility he has the edge on Deneuve. Her divine sang-froid hardly lends itself to a role that requires her to be part Doris Day, part Claudia Cardinale. The runaway pace is maintained by operatic slapstick, tempestuousness verging on insanity, hysterical dialogue that occasionally lurches into Spanish and American, and a dazzling range of locations (Venezuela, New York, Provence).


Film4: A clever and classy screwball comedy, with Deneuve and Montand the eye-catching couple who leave their respective partners and end up running off around the world with each other. There is not much of substance here: it is not the most original story, and there are some lame plot contrivances that make it a little pedestrian. But the settings are well filmed, and the two leads are utterly charming, attractive and funny. Deneuve in particular shines, displaying a genuine gift for comedy, which has not exactly been her trademark. Flimsy but likeable.



At Alliance Française on Friday, March 19, 8 pm:  Le silence est d'or / Silence is Golden / Man About Town (1947) written and directed by René Clair – 100 mins -- Comedy/ Drama/ Romance. In Black and White. English subtitles.


With Maurice Chevalier, François Perier, Dany Robin.


A witty comedy set in the beginning of the century among silent movie actors...

– Alliance description


Even in 1947, Clair's belated Valentine to the silent period, one of his few memorable postwar films, was so deliciously passé in style as almost to pass for an example of the work to which it pays wistful tribute. With Chevalier (whose heavily accented delivery sounds decidedly odd in French) as an ageing boulevardier, Périer as his youthful nemesis, and Dany Robin as the midinette who comes between them, the plot is pure convention, but the gentle humor and wealth of period detail (from both the turn of the century and the '40s) have an enduring charm.

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